Bishop Sends Ramadan Greetings

by Gerry Lynch last modified 18 May, 2018 10:54 AM

Bishop Nicholas writes to local Muslim communities as holiest month of their calendar begins

Bishop Nicholas has written to Muslim communities in the Diocese, sending greetings as the month of Ramadan begins. Ramadan is considered by Muslims to be the holiest month of the calendar, a time of fasting, prayer and charitable giving for the less fortunate. People of other faiths are sometimes invited to join the fast-breaking feasts after sunset, called Iftar.

Bishop Nicholas wrote:

“As the Islamic season of Ramadan begins, I send my warm greetings to the Muslim communities in the Diocese of Salisbury.

In our city of Salisbury we have this year experienced an unprecedented attack which has not only severely injured three people, but has left our businesses and our people facing real and sustained damage. We have faced this crisis together in a spirit of solidarity and with calmness and resilience and I am sure that as we look to the future, we shall find ways to demonstrate our communal strengths.

Around the world there are so many Muslim people who have suffered death and disfigurement, have been displaced from their homes or have become refugees through war and violence. I know that in this time of Ramadan, Muslims will be especially generous in their acts of charity. The Christian community will want to add our prayers and support to yours for peace and reconciliation across God’s world.

Muslims understand that Ramadan is a time not just for abstaining from food and drink, but a time for prayer and generous good deeds, for compassion and hospitality. These are values that Christians and other people of faith share and which form a deep basis for mutual respect and friendship.

During this time of Ramadan may I urge Muslim friends to extend their Iftar hospitality as widely as possible; and may I urge Christian people to accept such hospitality and to reach out in friendship to Muslim neighbours in our streets, towns and villages. It is by meeting, talking and eating together that we recognise each other as human beings created by God and loved by God.

As we meet and share time and food together we come to know each other more and are more able to reject together the voices and actions of those who seek to divide us.

I pray in the name of Jesus that through this time of Ramadan we shall come to know each other better and so work together for a more just and peaceful society here and across the world.”

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